Nearly a week after the storm had passed, I was beginning to notice a few things. First off; I truly did feel an emotional attachment to Nathaniel that wasn't entirely professional. (Not that our relationship could ever really be called professional. A miracle more like it, or a horrible mistake, I'm pretty open.) Second, Nathaniel, frost-queen himself, seemed to have a similar epiphany.
Oh good, I'm sure you're thinking, now they can be all couple-ish and hold hands and do whatever disgusting things humans do when they reach the plateau of mutual not-hating-turned-to-liking-ness. (Which I'm terrified to say I actually sort of want to happen. Honestly, I've given up at this point and decided that I'm in a limbo where no sanity is to be had by anyone for more than five seconds.)
When has it ever been that easy?!
The third and final thing I noticed is the utterly idiotic sentiment Natty boy had gotten. It's like he thinks only freaking Mother Teresa is allowed happiness and will abruptly panic and ruin any fun to be had after a certain goal of how happy he's 'allowed' to be is reached.
If we have a good conversation, or brush hands or anything, the stupid kid will suddenly retreat far into himself for some 'alone time'. This usually means that he spends the next few hours mentally bellyaching or drawing or going on about how he's this terrible person that can never be forgiven and why I need to leave or whatever.
Or at least that's what seems to going on because on the Other Place itself, even if our essences were mixing and we shared his body again, I doubt I'd be any closer to getting him to talk to me on a personal level. He shut any important conversations down after –quite rudely- throwing me from his bed the morning after I had graciously calmed his nightmares. Decided he'd rather sleep with Brandon if he had a nightmare and needed a cuddle buddy – luckily storm let up later that day so the blonde never had a chance to sleep with him but still. If I had any, I'm sure my blood would've boiled at the sheer stupidity of it all. Worse, with his little friend returning home to his family, Nathaniel suddenly had every reason not to be in the house. He had to help everybody and I do mean everybody fix up their houses from the storm's damage. It was bad enough that they supposedly needed him all day, but not bad enough that they needed my extra pair of hands.
He was avoiding me.
And the worst part was he thought I was stupid enough not to see it.
A full week of this nonsense and I'm sure you would've been ripping your hair out too. I finally couldn't stand the awkward stilted conversations the boy and I had whenever we were both in the same room for any length of time. And if I had to talk about how nice the weather was getting and that some sod named Daryl was probably going to need Nat for fishing or some crap soon, I swear I'd go bezerk and kill everybody. (Except Nat of course, that'd be silly. Wait. No. Especially Nat. Only Nat. I would just kill him. Because then I wouldn't have to deal with this nonsense. Of course… then I'd be back to square one… probably fall into another weird depression, human emotions were odd and unpredictable like that. Maybe just kill all the distractions then? We couldn't have that conversation if Daryle was dead. Wait no… that's not right because then he'd still talk about the weather? AH DAMMIT. WHY ARE YOU READING THIS? IM CONFUSED, YOU'RE NOT HELPING – GET OUT OF HERE.)
And that my friends (Except none of you out there are my friends so don't get cocky) is why I've finally enlisted in the help of the ignoramus currently in my presence.
As much as I dislike Brandon, he was the only one Nat seemed to talk to lately and he knew how I could try to bridge the obvious gap between the kid and I that was quickly growing into a chasm.
The blonde sat in front of me for about a minute or two, hunched over with his elbows propped atop the table and his hands folded in front if his mouth, his half empty pint sitting next to him. He seemed to be seriously pondering my question. That or he just appear to be doing so, he had been in the middle of drinking a larger when I'd burst into the tavern looking for him (I wouldn't put it past him either – I'm sure the lunk was one of those 'special' cases who suddenly found meaning in walls and inanimate objects when drunk).
Finally, just when I was about ready to throw his abandoned beer at his thick skull, he answered my question with quite possibly the stupidest pearl of wisdom I'd ever heard.
"I'm sorry, what?" I asked him (Not that I hadn't heard, mind you, I have excellent ears. Its just that I couldn't believe the garbage he'd decided to spout).
Brandon looked at me. It was a funny sort of look, as if he believed I was the dumb one of the two of us. But I'm sure that's just how his face looked when he understood he was an idiot, because clearly there was nothing I'd done wrong.
"I said," He started, deliberately slow as if I were a handicapped child. (If I didn't desperately need I second opinion I would've devoured the oaf for his insolence. Dammit Nat. The lows I'm forced to stoop for you…) "You need to get your revenge on him."
I stared at the big, blonde lug for a looooong while. After a few blinks and a shake of my head to confirm I was awake I told him, "Look, Brandon." His name dripped off my tongue with all the snark I could manage, "I don't think you understand what I'm asking. I actually want Natty-boy to like me. You know, so we can have a conversation that lasts for more than five seconds that doesn't involve the weather."
"Pfft. Please. The only talking you wanna do with Brit involves being sideways." I sputtered indignantly at that, but Brandon continued as if I weren't molting a thousand shades of vermillion, "Look. From the nonsense he's been spouting, apparently he thinks you sought him out because you wanted revenge or some craziness. I think you being a normal, forgiving human being is kinda freaking him out. So just get revenge on him or whatever and I think it'll even out. Maybe."
"That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard." I objected immediately.
And then Brandon shrugged and said the wisest thing I'd ever heard, "A stupid solution for a stupid situation."
It made sense I supposed. The kid was so busy trying to atone for his actions (He ran away to a foreign country to renounce his magic. Pretty sure that counts as a kind of atonement) that he couldn't deal with me being nice to him. Obviously having the fabulous attention of a great dijin such as myself must be overwhelming for such a scrawny, chicken legged child. Also if I was being completely honest there were a lot of things he did that shouldn't be forgivable, but given the nature of our relationship and that thing with Nouda… eh, I suppose it's just in my nature to be such a kind, forgiving creature.
As far as I was concerned we were even. The only sort spot I had with him was his little disappearing act, but we kinda addressed that (In an incredibly unsatisfactory way, but when dealing with magicians one learns less is always more. It was as good as I was likely to get).
"Ok, so what, I seek 'revenge'" I air quoted the word 'revenge'. It sounded like such a powerful thing in my mind, tempered with my 5,000 years of wisdom when floating around the planes in my mind but when voiced aloud it sounded a bit… well silly. "Then what? Nat just magically forgives me for everything?"
"No. He doesn't forgive you. He forgives himself."
"I'm sorry. What?"
"Look." Brandon sighed, "Nathaniel obviously believes he wronged you-"
Brandon gave me a look that said 'shut up if you want my help' and dryly said, "Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that he needs to feel like he's been properly punished for his actions before you go and make out with him."
For some insane reason the word 'punished' conjured up a storm of images that had no right being in my head. Perhaps it wouldn't be wrong to think of Natty so if these images weren't subjugating him to my wrath in a certain way. (I swear the thoughts were nothing of my doing of course. This stupid blonde boy kept putting thoughts in my head and well, you know the saying of how a boil swells with little thought to the time and place… Even if that certain boil is a disgusting, worthless little thing that shouldn't be worth a moment of your superior time and yet you can't help thinking about it all the damn time and – am I rambling? I am. Right.)
"Hey! Not like that you!" Brandon, unfortunately, seemed to magically understand the horrible thoughts that random popped up in my head and told me, "I meant like, prank him or something so he feels you've gotten your revenge."
"Right um. Prank him." I made a sour face. It was rather hard to dispel the images floating about my head and I sorely wished they'd never popped up there in the first place. I shook my head and tried to get a hold of myself. "You know, somehow, I feel this is the wrong approach."
"Naw this is good. Just like, prank him."
"I don't know how pranks are going to help, but I suppose as far as revenge goes, that's right up my alley."
The Egyptian boy suddenly put both his hands on the table and pushed himself to his feet. His golden eyes bore right through his unlikely companion's. "I'll give it a shot." I said. "But for the record, if this goes sour, I blame you."
"Yeah, yeah." Brandon waved me off, once again focusing on the beer he'd been ignoring, "Go woo your princess or whatever."
I bristled at that; momentarily offended until I realized he though Nat was the princess in all this. That made me smile.
GUYS IM SORRY FOR THE LONG ASS HIATUS! D: The short of the story is my mom passed away and I had to move and switch colleges and all these shenanigans. UGH. Life comes at ya fast bro. Wanted to make this chappie longer but figured I shouldn't force it so yeah… Anyway, hope to be updating more soon!